Sitting This One Out
With the MLB on targeting a restart for July 23, a short list of players will be opting out from playing this season, mainly due to the risk of getting sick.
List as of 07/05/2020:
Mike Leake (Arizona Diamondbacks): Leake was the first player in the MLB to announce his opt out. Now I’m not saying its all about the money, but here’s a fact. Leaked would be forfeiting a $5 million salary if he sits out the season, and will become an unrestricted free agent during the off season, if he and the team cannot agree any long-term contract.
Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals):
Due to the worries of the virus, Zimmerman has chosen to opt out this season. “Given my family circumstances", stated the father of 3, "I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season.”
With his wife and newborn child designated as high risk for covid-19, it is only logical that he sit out the 60 game season.
Joe Ross ( Washington Nationals):
The Nationals number 5 starter has also chosen not to play. Not only will he forfeit $555,556 (roughly the minimum MLB salary), but because of his service time, this will push his free agency until after the 2022 season.
Ian Desmond (Colorado Rockies):
Ian Desmond had announced on Instagram that he will be opting out of the MLB restart for 2 reasons.
First, a chance to be with his family during this horrific time in the world. And secondly, to focus on fighting racial injustice in America. He also said he would like to use the time reviving youth baseball in his home town of Sarasota Fla. This decision will cost him roughly $5.55 million, but on the bright side, he does still have one more year on his contract, plus a player option.
David Price (Los Angeles Dodgers):
Price announced his decision on July 4th, stating, "It is in the best interest of my health, and my family’s health for me not to play this season.”
This story line may have the most intrigue of any of the players so far. I agree with Price sitting out the season, however, the Dodgers had gotten Price in a trade with the Boston Red Sox this off season, and he was expected to be an ace atop that rotation. Now, as a result of this decision, Price will have no choice but to forfeit close to $12 million in salary. He is still owed $32 million per year in both 2021 and 2022.
With almost 3 weeks until opening day, more names will surely be added to this list. Only time will tell the impact of their decisions on their team, and on the league as a whole.